Salvemini v. Target Stores Inc.
"A party who seeks to recover damages . . . on the ground of lost earnings or earning capacity must establish a reasonable probability that his injury did bring about a loss of earnings, and must afford a basis for a reasonable estimate by the trier, court or jury, of the amount of loss," pursuant to Daigle v. Metropolitan Property and Casualty Insurance Co., a 2000 decision of the Connecticut Appellate Court. In 2006, the plaintiff, Amy Salvemini, allegedly shopped at Target and was injured when a lampshade fell on her head. Salvemini sued, alleging that Target was negligent, and she was injured, lost wages and suffered loss of earning capacity when working at a daycare center. The defendant moved to preclude evidence concerning loss of wages and loss of earning capacity and argued that the plaintiff will not prevail on these claims, because she earned more money in 2007, which was after the alleged accident, than in 2005, prior to the alleged accident. The plaintiff, who manages a daycare center, objected that she suffered a 25 percent loss of income, because she turned away prospective clients she might have accepted, if she had not been injured. The court found that the plaintiff failed to establish a "reasonable probability," based on financial records or testimony, to prove loss of earnings and earning capacity. The "plaintiff's disclosure," wrote the court, was "insufficient to provide defendant with a basis for evaluating the lost earnings damages, insight into plaintiff's method, or a reasonable basis for calculating damages." The court granted the defendant's motion to preclude evidence of loss of income and loss of earning capacity. Also, the court denied the defendant's motion to preclude the testimony of the plaintiff's relative, provided that the plaintiff supplies an adequate foundation to establish the plaintiff's relative is competent.